Well, not quite, because Emanuel summed it up well before Lewis went off half cocked. Emanuel, for those who don't know is a Professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT, and pretty far to the right politically. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, an eminent scholar, but also a member of the National Association of Scholars, a group that believes that universities are dens of nasty socialists. In July of 2010, Emanuel published a comment on the state of climate science on the National Association of Scholars web site. Everyone should read it. RIGHT NOW, that means you.
He clearly understood what was happening
But it turns out that there are not enough mavericks in climate science to meet the media’s and blogosphere’s insatiable appetite for conflict. Thus into the arena steps a whole host of charlatans posing as climate scientists. These are a toxic brew of retired physicists, TV weather forecasters, political junkies, media hacks, and anyone else willing to tell an interviewer that he/she is a climate scientist. Typically, they have examined some of the more easily digestible evidence and, like good trial lawyers, cherry-pick that which suits their agendas while attacking or ignoring the rest. Often, they are a good deal more articulate than actual scientists, who usually prefer doing research to honing rhetorical technique. Intelligent readers/viewers should demand to know the actual scientific backgrounds of these posers and recognize that someone with a background in particle physics or botany may in fact know very little about climate science. Does he/she have a background in atmospheric physics? Can they answer elementary questions about radiative and convective heat transfer, or about the circulation of the ocean and atmosphere? More precisely, does their expertise actually bear on the particular points they are making? It may sound elitist these days, but there is a point to credentials.Eli added a comment
Others should think about this.
I would like to thank Prof. Emanuel for his contribution. I grew up scientifically with many who are now well known atmospheric chemists. Our politics were all over the map. Scientific matters were vigorously debated, politics were not terra incognita, but, for issues such as ozone depletion and climate change, the science provided the boundary condition. It is a failure of our politics, better written, public policy, that many believe their policy preferences should set the boundary conditions for science.
To me, and I suspect Prof. Emanuel, the truly worrying thing about humans changing the climate by inadvertance and ignorance is that when the consequences strike, survival will require sacrificing many freedoms.